Tips for beating the Nelson heat in the kitchen

Nelson chef Jamie Hertz offers a recipe to help beat the heat.

At last the summer has graced the Kootenays with its presence. I think it is safe to say that Junuary is behind us and we can look forward to many hot days ahead.

As the temperatures rise and the days stay hot throughout the night our appetites get lighter and we start to search for meals that aren’t as heavy.

When I search for meals and snacks during hot days I tend to look to hotter climates to mimic their diets. We may not have the same ingredients as they do but we can use certain techniques and methods they use but with some simple alterations.

One of my favourites is a ceviche, which is basically citrus used to cook the proteins to perfection. Acid in the fruits is used to cook the fish or crustations over a couple of hours. Added flavourings such as cilantro, tomatoes, onions and even ginger can really brighten the ceviche and round out the dish.

When it comes to making your own Ceviche you can alter flavorings to your liking but I will share with you one of my favourites and you can use this to work from.

Ingredients:

2 lemons

1 lime

1 orange

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 bulb fennel, shaved or thinly sliced

1 pear or apple, shaved, thinly sliced

½ bunch cilantro, finley chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, small diced

6 oz. filet of halibut, medium diced

6 jumbo tiger prawns, peeled and deveined and sliced in half lengthwise

3 large Scallops, sliced in half

½ cup sliced toasted almonds

pinch of sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Juice the lemons, lime and orange completely using a juicer or press into a bowl. Add the vinegar and all of the remaining ingredients except the almonds and mix thoroughly. Cover with platic wrap and store in the fridge for a few hours. You will notice after a few minutes that the acid from the fruits will start to change the colour of the seafood. You can reserve this for a couple of days but if it is left to long you will notice that the proteins will become a little rubbery, so I recommend a few hours before service is best. If you want to you can also mix everything but the proteins together and when you are ready you can toss the proteins in. Just before service sprinkle the almonds on top and serve.

This is also something that can be brought with you on a camping trip or a on a hike and is packed full of flavor and energy and won’t leave you feeling sluggish afterwards.

Happy Cooking!